wings and things

The wild birds!

We have a lot of crows, parrots, doves, magpies, willy wagtails, wrens, and other wild birds, who hang around a lot more then they used to here. This is obviously due to the overabundance of wheat (which is what I give all of the peafowl, guinnea fowl, and the gang).

This afternoon I decided to sit down and watch quietly as the wild birds fluttered and tiptoed into the tame birds’ little sanctuary. Tomorrow I plan to take better photos but here are a couple of Gutsy9 sharing a bowl of wheat with two crested pigeons.



(I actually thought these guys were doves until I googled their description. I feel really knowledgeable now.)


The peachicks have chosen a new bedtime tree

Queenie’s chicks have become incredibly assertive. They take the food out of her mouth, fly at her aggressively if she is in the wheat bowl, and now they even choose the bedtime tree. Last night they decided to move to another tree while poor Queenie waited in the original bedtime tree. These two peachicks are absolute brats!





But Queenie doesn’t mind.


My name is “MING!”

If we had had more than one child we probably would have become more accomplished at the name thing. Alas, Ming (as our only child) inherited a bunch of names that make him sound/seem like a bit of a superior-being-weirdo – poor kid!

His first name is Menzies (pronounced Mingus with a soft ‘g’ and soon shortened to ‘Ming’). This name was chosen by Anthony, whose uncle on his mother’s side, had a Scottish name in the midst of which was ‘Menzies’.

His second name is Brinsley, named after my father, and his father, and his father. Many of the children, my brother, Brin, included, and grandchildren, have ‘Brinsley’ inserted somewhere inside their names. My father, Brinsley, died suddenly, when my brothers and I were still teenagers.

Ming’s third name is Barr, named after Anthony’s father, so his whole name is Menzies Brinsley Barr Goyder. It sounds rather impressive doesn’t it (and pretentious!)

It is very hard to get the pronunciation of ‘Ming’ from ‘Menzies’ however Ming has no patience with anyone who calls him MENZIES!

We should have just called him ‘Schnooks’ or something simpler – argh!


A conversation between a 20-year-old son and his 50ish mother about washing the dishes

Me: We need to talk about the dishes.
Ming: I don’t care about the dishes.
Me: I want them washed; after all, they are mostly your dishes.
Ming: Ask me then!
Me: Why should I have to ask you when it is quite obvious that there are dishes on the sink that need washing?
Ming: It isn’t a priority for me; I want to clean the windows.
Me: I don’t care about the windows at the moment – I care about the dishes.
Ming: Well, I asked you if you wanted me to do the dishes this morning and you said it was okay not to.
Me: That’s only because I wanted you to do it anyway.
Ming: So I am supposed to read your mind?
Me: No, you are supposed to have a bit of initiative. If something needs to be done, then do it!
Ming: Well, write me a list, Mum.
Me: But why can’t you just simply see what needs doing, and do it?
Ming: Because I can’t.
Me: Well we will just have to agree to disagree won’t we!
Ming: I don’t know, Mum – you are so difficult sometimes!
Me: Sigh!

The above was a rather rowdy exchange today about a few dishes, which escalated into a bit of a war of utter miscommunication, diatribe, then, finally reconciliation (with a caveat to not mention the dishes again!)

In the meantime, my prodigal (anti-dishes son) cleaned all of the outside windows, which is a massive job, and we sat down at the kitchen table to make lists of chores. This little chore-meeting didn’t go particularly well because we were arrowing our foreheads against each other quite boppily until Ming suggested a hug (a few hours later!)

And then he said, “Mum, I am on your side, I am your best friend, I am sorry we don’t understand each other and, at the moment, I hate your guts but I still love you.”

Perhaps it is a male/female thing – initiative? I don’t know but one thing for sure is that, now that my hands are nearly better from this stupid pompholyx I will not be mentioning dishes again. After all, our Ming is doing everything else in his power to keep things on an even keel, including me.

So I salute my brat!


Queenie and chicks


They were waiting for me outside the back door this morning so I tossed little bits of bread to Queenie but the chicks got to them first, like miniature vultures – gleefully chirping!


Go to bed!

They go to bed (in their yard) but then they come back out again, and they do it over an over again – argh! Ming was never this difficult when he was a baby – mmmm. The problem is that they hear my voice and assume I have bread or lettuce (which I don’t always have). Freckle, Misha and Michael Jackson seem to want to eat my feet off. Funny – yes, scary, yes! Okay, I am going out now to put them to bed and, if you never hear from me again, it will be due to a duck drama! Oh and now Baby Turkey is stuck on the wrong side of the fence – great!







House of cards

We live in a very old house – part of it is over 100 years old and, ironically, it is that side of the house that is the most structurally sound. Other parts of the house have become problematic over the years – bricks crumbling on one side, the ceiling in the big bedroom breaking one day when a builder put his foot through it and nearly fell into the house when repairing some of the roof. Obviously these things have now been repaired (well, bandaged!)

On the weekend a few more things fell apart; the back veranda door fell right out if its grooves, onto an outside table (it has been threatening to do this for some time). Luckily, the table saved it from smashing into a million pieces of glass. Then its accompanying fly-screen door fell out of its grooves into the house (these two door have a very close relationship).

Then, as if all of the doors in the house were following some sort of evil ritual, the shower door in the bathroom also fell out of its hinges – well, sort of. You see, it was a sliding door that had stopped sliding, so, in order to get into the shower, you had to hold your breath and squeeze through a small gap. Yesterday, Ming became so annoyed with this that he took half of the door off and propped it against the remaining bit of the door. He didn’t prop it very well, however so, when I had to go to the loo in the middle of the night, I bumped into it and it fell into the shower recess. Thankfully, it didn’t smash and is now outside with the rest of the rebellious doors.

Today, the kitchen door is nearly off its hinges, the front fly-wire door doesn’t close unless you force it to, and the key to the glass front door won’t work properly (which means we often have to climb into the house through a window, although that won’t be necessary anymore since we now have an almost door-less house).

Ming has been trying to fix all of these things this morning and has done a great job and I am very proud of him for trying to do this kind of thing by himself when he has never been taught. I like the way he is figuring out how to fix things without anybody’s help and with very little nagging from me. He is doing jobs I used to watch Anthony do, and he is doing them willingly and cleverly.

I had a pretty grim weekend with all of the doors in my own house-of-cards breaking, or falling, but I guess that’s what has to happen before the ‘fix you’ thing can happen. Anthony always waited until things were totally broken before he would address the situation: doors, pumps, hoses, fences, vacuum cleaners, me.

My pompholyx was finally healed enough for me to visit Ants yesterday and, when he saw my scarred hands, he reached out and stroked my wrists with his cool fingers, and watched me carefully as I smiled through unshed tears of utter misery at being separated from him.

Me: I can’t even do the bloody dishes because I am not supposed to go anywhere near rubber gloves or detergent.
Ants: Well bring me home and I can do all of that for you!
Me: But Ants, it’s nearly 3pm – it’s too late to bring you home now and, I hate to say this, but you are too sick with the PD to help me – you will only make it all harder.
Ants: (Silence)
Me: Oh great, so have I hurt your feelings now?
Ants: No.
Me: As soon as my hands are better I will pick you up to go out – is that okay?
Ants: Has to be, doesn’t it.

Then, surprisingly mobile for that time of day, Ants walked me out to the parking lot and waved goodbye. I stopped at the end of the driveway to the nursing home to check in the rear vision mirror that he was going back inside the nursing home. I watched as he slowly turned the walker around and limped back to the nursing home doors which opened automatically. And, when he disappeared through those doors, I tried not to think about anything except how well those doors worked!

Oh and the ducklings keep getting through the faulty door of their chookpen – argh. In one more week they will be too big to get out until I open the gate (which hopefully won’t break before then!)


The best thing about a house of cards is that it is so interesting!